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GSkill Tri-Channel 1600MHz review

Will high clockspeeds triumph over low bandwidth for this RAM?

Our Verdict

GSkill's triple kit looks outgunned on paper, and so it proves in practice. Poor value compared to the competition.

For

  • Decent overclocking headroom
  • These DIMMs sure are purty in red

Against

  • Patchy performance at stock speeds and beyond
  • Too expensive compared to the competition

Initial impressions do not bode well for the GSkill Tri-Channel 1600MHz. Judged purely on the official specifications, this admittedly snazzy-looking 6GB triple-channel kit shouldn't stand a snowball's.

After all, at £135 it's more expensive than both Kingston's HyperX 1,600MHz effort and Crucial's Ballistix1,600MHz offering. Compared to the Crucial kit, the difference is getting on for £20.

That's a problem because not only is the GSkill Tri-Channel rated at the same 1,600MHz frequency as the competition. It also clocks in with tardier 9-9-9-24 timings. Both Kingston and Crucial give you quicker 8-8-8 timings for less cash.

As for cooling kit, the Tri-Channel's anodised red heat spreaders look slick enough, but are hardly the last word in high-fidelity heat dissipation. In other words, this kit costs more than the competition, but does seem to offer anything extra by way of speed or spec.

It's hard to spot where exactly the extra money is going.

A quick scan of the performance numbers the GSkill Tri-Channel spits out running at the default 1,333MHz frequency doesn't provide much insight into the slight price premium this kit demands.

True, there are no horrors across our full suite of tests. But whether it's synthetic measures such as bandwidth and latency, or real-world applications including gaming and HD video encoding, these Gskill DIMMs are at best on a par with and usually a click or two behind the cheaper Kingston HyperX sticks.

Up the ante to 1,600MHz and things don't look much better. In fact, the raw memory bandwidth goes south in dramatic style. In truth, this is something of a testing anomaly rather than a true reflection of the GSkill Tri-Channel's data throughput.

Consequently, this kit continues to match its closest competition in our World in Conflict game bench. But the bandwidth result is probably indicative of the wheels beginning to come off in terms of timings.

With that in mind, it's actually a little surprising to find the Tri-Channel kit keeps on trucking at 1,866MHz. But, again, the raw bandwidth reported is well below expectations. That's a shame because performance in our other metrics is actually pretty solid at this frequency.

All of which makes GSkill's work hard to gauge. On the one hand, the extra speed is attractive in terms of both performance and overclocking headroom. On the other, the measure bandwidth issues suggest possible stability and compatibility issues. The choice is yours.

Tech Specs

Product TypeRAM Module
Memory StandardDDR3-1600/PC3-12800
Memory TechnologyDDR3 SDRAM
Memory Size6 GB
Brand NameG.SKILL
Form FactorDIMM
Memory Speed1600 MHz
Error CheckingNon-ECC
Number of Pins240-pin
Signal ProcessingUnbuffered
Compatibility

Asus Motherboard:

  • Rampage II Extreme
  • Rampage II GENE
  • P6T7 WS SuperComputer
  • P6T6 WS Revolution
  • P6T WS Professional
  • P6TD Deluxe
  • P6T Deluxe V2
  • P6T Deluxe
  • P6T SE
  • P6T

DFI Motherboard:

  • UT X58-T3eH8
  • DK X58-T3eH6
  • JR X58-T3H6

EVGA Motherboard:

  • X58 SLI Classified
  • X58 Classified 4-Way SLI
  • X58 SLI
  • X58 SLI LE
  • X58 SLI Micro

Gigabyte Motherboard:

  • GA-EX58-UD5
  • GA-EX58-EXTREME
  • GA-EX58-UD4P
  • GA-EX58-UD4
  • GA-EX58-DS4
  • GA-EX58-UD3R-SLI
  • GA-EX58-UD3R

MSI Motherboard:

  • Eclipse Plus
  • Eclipse SLI
  • X58 Platinum
  • X58 Platinum SLI
  • X58 Pro-E
  • X58 Pro
  • X58M
ManufacturerGSkill International Enterprise
Product ModelF3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Product Name6GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory Module
Manufacturer Part NumberF3-12800CL9T-6GBNQ
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.gskill.com
Number of Modules3 x 2 GB
Limited WarrantyLifetime